What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago, the so-called "culture war" issues -- especially abortion and same-sex marriage -- were a boon to conservatives in terms of fundraising and energizing their base to go to the polls.
A prominent political scientist suggests that the politics of values may have settled into a state of lessened conflict and volatility. The debate runs on; but terms like "acceptance" and "stability" figure centrally in his depiction of cultural struggle in this country.
As we approach American Thanksgiving, it is time to express gratitude for a very important development in the life of the Catholic Church, which I very much love. And that is the grace of your pontificate.
What's critical to realize -- lest we believe that Christian doctrine actually compels its adherents to condemn gay people -- is that anti-gay religious sentiment has always been a matter of tone and focus, so a change here is both the best we're likely to get and possibly all that's really needed.
I know something about the marriage culture wars. I was a well-known opponent of gay marriage -- I testified at the Prop 8 trial in California -- and last year I changed my mind, which had a big impact on me personally and on the Institute for American Values.
A fiscally sane agenda is needed for California, but as long as Republicans or conservatives package it by stereotyping Mexicans, the young, gays, "coastal elites," or whoever else they wish to drag into their damned "culture war," it doesn't have a chance.
Rubio's critics are alarmed that an up-and-coming Republican leader is, once again, floating in a fact-free zone. It's Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock and Paul Broun all over again. It's the Republican primary when all the candidates publicly rejected evolution.
I never made it to law school and instead stayed home and raised kids and remained a registered Republican -- more out of loyalty to my father than to the GOP -- but increasingly found myself voting "across party lines." That changed in 1992.
What if the Culture War is not cultural at all? What if it is biological? What if this unbridgeable divide we are experiencing is in fact a matter of speciation -- between Homo sapiens retro and Homo sapiens progressivus?
Romney, who did not mention the word Palestinians in his speech or visit the occupied territories during his trip, did not recognize what any 10th grader of international politics knows: that the occupation is preventing Palestinians from attaining their full potential, cultural or otherwise.
Huffington and Matalin debate "War on Catholics" vs. "War on Women". The legal rights of non-catholic employees in publicly funded hospitals... or a 2000 year church doctrine. Then: guess who wins shootout between Clint and Karl over Chrysler ad?